fifth research associate welcomed to gateway roster
Katie Allen and Farley (Submitted photo)
Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) is pleased to welcome Katie Allen as their newest Research Associate.
Allen was born in, and still resides in Peterborough, ON. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph in the school of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Her research focus is rooted in creating a fair and just economy for non-metro areas in Canada by examining place-based impact investing ecosystems and enabling environments.
Allen is a life-long learner and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Sustainability Studies from Trent University. Her research for that degree focused on social enterprise and alternative governance models that address organizational stability and capacity in social purpose organizations. In 2018, she completed an Entrepreneurship program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for social entrepreneurs, innovators, and change-makers.
She is a social enterprise developer, policy wonk, social finance afficionado and strategic planner with a passion for building community resilience. She has over a decade of experience developing social enterprise, sustainability and revenue diversification plans, governance, capacity development, and strategic planning.
When not at her studies Allen enjoys time outside, reading, hiking or adventures with her Australian Shepherd, Farley. As well, she volunteers with several organizations including, the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity and coordinates the Rural Research Centres Network (R2CN). Passionate about gender equity, community economic development and community resilience, Allen is a significant addition to Gateway’s team of rural researchers. Most recently she has been involved in developing social enterprise options for Gateway as a means of achieving sustainability.
Allen looks forward to contributing to Gateway initiatives in building community resilience, health, and well-being.
President of Gateway’s Board of Directors, Gwen Devereaux said, “This has been a time of substantial growth in our organization with the addition of our 13th research chair and now our fifth research associate. We are excited to welcome Katie and we appreciate the knowledge and strength she will bring to our Rural Research Team!”
Sponsors sought for seeding a smile connectedness project
Through partnership with local Community Champion residents, cards and seeds were delivered to mail boxes of isolated neighbors across Howick, Goderich, and Seaforth recently as part of “Connecting Together, Seeding a Smile”. (Submitted photos)
Since its launch in March, Connectedness Coaching’s Call to Action “Connecting Together, Seeding a Smile” has spread smiles and connections to over 60 rural residents.
An engaged Connectedness Coaching Learner shared her experience, "I shared my seeds with my 77-year-old sister...the radish seeds reminded me of a time when we were young and we grew radishes at my home. She tried to invent all kinds of recipes to use them, even creamed radishes. Trust me, they are best on their own or in salads. She was very touched to get the seeds with the memories shared in my note to her. This pandemic has been very isolating for her. She just bought a raised garden bed so we will see who can get their radishes growing soon!”
“Connecting Together, Seeding a Smile” is a Call to Action that combats social isolation and promotes resiliency among our isolated neighbors. Engaged individuals receive a card to personalize and deliver with a seed pack to an isolated neighbor and they also receive a seed pack for themselves. The card encourages connection and the seeds enable community members to grow together and foster future conversations. This Call to Action is led by Connectedness Coaching which inspires intentional acts of kindness to reduce social isolation and improve individual wellbeing by providing educational opportunities, empowering community members and organizations to explore and enhance their resiliency through appreciative inquiry and promoting meaningful engagement in the larger community.
To help address the amplified social isolation created by this recent lockdown, three Huron communities were sponsored “smiles” by Connectedness Coaching. Through partnership with local Community Champion residents, cards and seeds were delivered to mail boxes of isolated neighbors across Howick, Goderich, and Seaforth. Another 30 local smiles were seeded, increasing resiliency through community connection and growth.
“Connectedness Coaching would like to partner with other local communities to build resilience, spreading community connection and growth during these difficult times,” said Connectedness Coaching Program Coordinator Sarah Versteeg. “If you know of, or live in, a community that would benefit from this type of connection please get involved, either by sponsoring your community ($100 for cards and seed packs for 10 households) or by becoming a Community Champion.”
Anyone who would like to participate by sponsoring or becoming a Community Champion can contact Versteeg by emailing email@example.com or by calling 519 292-6862. For more details on this initiative, visit: www.gatewayruralhealth.ca/connectedness-coaching and check out their Facebook page to see pictures of connections made @ConnectingTogetherSeedingaSmile.
Conservation Dinner virtual events raised about $40,000
The Conservation Dinner, of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club, was online in 2021 for the first time. The Virtual Conservation Dinner committee said online auction bidding, along with funds raised from the Exeter Lions Club’s 50-50 raffle draw and donations and restaurant dinner proceeds, is set to raise a combined total of approximately $40,000, in net proceeds, for projects in the community.
The Exeter Lions Club’s 50-50 Raffle Draw was also online this year. It had a record prize of $6,300 and the winner’s name was drawn on Earth Day, Thursday, Apr. 21 at 7 p.m. The winner was Jeanette Parker (winning ticket number 99396823144).
Dave Frayne is chair of the Conservation Dinner Committee. He thanked the community for their generous bids and donations, raffle draw ticket purchases, and support of restaurants taking part in the first “Dine for Your Community” program. He also thanked all the businesses and donors who donated funds or items to the auction. The Conservation Dinner partners had to find new ways to raise funds this year instead of a large in-person event.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who made the first Virtual Conservation Dinner such a success,” Frayne said. “Your generosity will make it possible to continue important projects in your community.”
The online charity auction took place over a full week from Apr. 15 until Earth Day (Apr. 22). The organizers hosted, for the first time, two live cable TV broadcasts, one to launch the week and one to cap it off. The shows included appearances by local political representatives, Conservation Foundation and Lions Club members, trail users, a best-selling author and Conservation Dinner donor, and young people who have benefitted from projects of the Dinner. The committee thanked FauxPop Media Inc. for preparing the livestream shows and thanked the cable TV providers (Hay Communications; HuronTel; and Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative TCC) for broadcasting the shows. Videos of those TV shows are posted here: conservationdinner.com/livestream/.
The Conservation Dinner, over 30 plus years, has raised more than $1.25 million for local community conservation projects such as parks, trails, conservation areas, job opportunities and bursaries for youth, conservation education, commemorative woods, turtle habitat enhancement and monitoring projects, recreation opportunities for the young and young at heart, and more.
To learn more visit abca.ca and conservationdinner.com.
Coast Watchers to go mobile
Volunteers are trained to observe the coast and record environmental data through weekly measurements, essentially becoming the “eyes and ears” of the lakeshore. (Submitted photo)
The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (LHCCC) received a generous donation from RBC Tech for Nature this year to expand their Coast Watchers program.
Coast Watchers is a citizen science program designed to engage community volunteers all along the Lake Huron shoreline. Volunteers are trained to observe the coast and record environmental data through weekly measurements, essentially becoming the “eyes and ears” of the lakeshore. The program started 16 years ago and has grown dramatically since then with volunteers of all ages working together to monitor and care for the shoreline.
Executive Director of the LHCCC, Erinn Lawrie said, “For over 22 years we have been dedicated to addressing the most pressing environmental issues facing our Great Lakes. We’re proud to be partnering with RBC Tech for Nature as we continue our mission to drive real change.”
The donation from the RBC Foundation will allow the LHCCC to create a mobile application that people can use to input environmental monitoring data; this will make it possible for more volunteers to participate in the program and easily submit important information about coastal conditions. The data collected by the citizen scientists is shared with partnering organizations and agencies so that necessary action can be taken, and this type of accurate specialized information will contribute to informed decision making.
“At RBC, we believe in the power of innovative technologies to address and scale solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time,” said Vice-President of Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability at RBC, Valerie Chort. “We’re proud to be working alongside the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation to develop real-world, scalable solutions to tackle the challenges that continue to plague our environment.”
The LHCCC is a non-government charitable organization with the goals of protecting and restoring Lake Huron's coastal environment, and supporting a healthy coastal ecosystem through education, restoration, and research projects.
To learn more about Coast Watchers, or RBC Tech for Nature, visit www.lakehuron.ca/coastwatchers and www.rbc.com/techfornature.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit: www.hpph.ca
The office of the Municipality of Bluewater Council has submitted the following to the Bayfield Breeze as highlights of their regular meeting of council held on Apr. 19.
• Authorized the Manager of Finance to waive the penalty on late payments on current year amounts for utilities and taxes for the balance of the year on a case-by-case basis upon request by ratepayers.
• Set the date for a Special Meeting of Council for the Bayfield Main Street Revitalization Project as May 4th at 6:30 p.m.
• Adopted a by-law to establish a Parking by Permit Policy and directed staff to draft an amendment to By-law 120-2020 to include the $150 fee for a lost “hanging on-street parking permit.”
• Adopted a by-law to set water and wastewater rates for 2022 to 2027.
• Directed staff to incorporate the public comments received through the consultation process for the Shoreline Protection on Municipal Property Policy conducted between Feb. 9 and March 19th, 2021 into a draft Shoreline Protection Policy and bring it to Council.
• Received the Fourth Quarter Water Operational Reports and the 2020 Annual Compliance Report for Wastewater from OCWA.
• Directed staff to bring back a report on the process to divest certain properties along the lakeshore that are not of a strategic value to the Municipality.
• Awarded the request for proposal for one walk in/walk around rescue fire apparatus (rescue truck) to Lafleur Industries in the amount of $346,892, exclusive of taxes.
• Authorized the Fire Chief to obtain the services of MR Engineering and Design Limited for the Zurich Fire Hall renovations.
• Directed staff to engage with MR Engineering and Design to complete a preliminary design and investigation for a new Public Works shop.
• Approved a four-year term to be included in the Terms of Agreement for the 2022 Insurance Renewal Request for Approval.
walk for Alzheimer's
This May, the Alzheimer Society of Huron County is calling on people to lace up their shoes, fundraise, and get ready to walk 1,385 steps each day in May in honor of the 1,385 people living with dementia in Huron County during the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.
Participants can complete their steps at their own pace—in one day, in one week, or over the whole month! This challenge is for everyone, so make sure to get friends, family, and neighbors involved and hit 1,385 steps by heading out on a long walk, dancing, or by doing chores!
Everyone will be touched by dementia—whether it is a relative, a friend, a community member, or themselves. By participating in and fundraising for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, people will make a positive difference because they’re not only raising funds— they’re also raising hope.
While the pandemic negatively impacted so many services across the country last year, people showed their support by joining this walk, raising crucial funds that allowed the Alzheimer Society of Huron County to shift many of their services online, continuing to meet the needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers in Huron County. But more funds are needed to meet the growing demand for life-changing support, including counselling, education, social recreation, in-home recreation programs for people living with dementia and respite for caregivers.
“From May 1 to 29, we’re calling on you to show your support by walking your way,” said Alzheimer Society of Huron County, Executive Director Cathy Ritsema. “Each year, 25,000 more Canadians hear, ‘You have dementia.’ It’s critical that we all get behind this cause and raise as much as possible so the Alzheimer Society can continue to help those affected overcome the challenges of dementias and live to their fullest.”
By joining the Alzheimer Society of Huron County IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, people can make a positive difference in the lives of people living with dementia and their families.
To get involved people can sign up individually, with family, or create a team at walkforalzheimers.ca. Choose Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Grand Bend or Wingham. Open a participant center at support.alzheimer.ca/site/SPageServer/?pagename=wfa15 and add a photo, share a story, and set a fundraising goal. Then share a customized link to help fundraise and raise awareness.
Participants can also download a paper pledge form from www.walkforalzheimers.ca or call or email the Alzheimer Society of Huron County office and one can be sent. Reach out over the phone or through email to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, and ask them support. Paper pledge forms and money can be mailed into the office or dropped off at the office in Clinton between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Other drop off times may be arranged.
Anyone who is unable to join in walking, or collecting their own pledges, is asked to please consider sponsoring someone else who is walking by following the online process outlined above or contacting a participant to arrange a donation drop off. Or people can donate to the event by clicking donate on any of the Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Grand Bend, or Wingham pages.
Help the Alzheimer Society of Huron County reach their goal of $70,000 and 1,385 donations – one donation for each person living with dementia in Huron County.
Join a live broadcast on the Alzheimer Society of Huron County’s Facebook page on Sunday, May 30 at 4 p.m., where they’ll share stories from walk participants across the country and celebrate together.
For more information contact Alzheimer Society of Huron County, Community Outreach/Events Coordinator, Erin Dale by calling 519 482-1482 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are now being accepted for the annual Summer Company program. All students, aged 15-29, that are looking to start their own businesses are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will receive up to $3,000 in start-up funds and business coaching throughout the summer of 2021.
The County of Huron, in partnership with the Province of Ontario, will award up to five students the chance to start their own companies this summer.
Applications for the Summer Company program are open now through May 23. To apply, individuals must determine if they are eligible and submit an online application inquiry. They will be connected with the local program provider, Huron County Economic Development, who will support individuals in submitting an online application, which includes a business plan and cash flow projections. All submitted applications will be reviewed and applicants may be contacted for an interview before being approved for the program.
To learn more about the eligibility requirements and to apply, please visit www.ontario.ca/page/start-summer-company-students.
For more information about the Summer Company program, please visit ecdev.huroncounty.ca or contact Entrepreneur and Business Coach, Patrick Donnelly at 519 524-8394 Ex. 3307 or by email at email@example.com.
Move for Mentoring
From May 1st-15th community members are invited to “Move for Mentoring” by getting active, having fun, and helping to ignite the power and potential of young people in the area in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron (BBBSSH).
BBBSSH provides their services to Ailsa Craig, Bayfield, Brucefield, Centralia, Crediton, Clinton, Dashwood, Exeter, Grand Bend, Hensall, Huron Park, Lucan, Parkhill, Seaforth, Vanastra, Zurich and surrounding areas.
They provide a variety of quality mentoring programs that are supported by professional caseworkers, ensuring their programs meet agency and national standards while ensuring safe, positive and healthy relationships between Big and Little. These programs, the support, and professional case work, are offered at absolutely no charge to young people and their families. The agency relies primarily on funds raised through The Little Shop (their children’s consignment store), grants, fundraisers, sponsorship and individual donations, to provide programming.
Move for Mentoring is a simple and fun way to help support BBBSSH. People are invited to challenge themselves (and each other) to be active while raising pledges to support area young people. During the first two weeks of May participants will commit to a movement of their choice – walking, running, cycling (one, two or five kilometres) or holding a one-hour dance party are but examples, participants are encouraged to get creative on how they can Move for Mentoring. The next step is to let everyone know about the challenge completion by tagging Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron on social media with photo or video evidence of the challenge as it happens or after it happens using the hashtags #BBBSSH #BiggerTogether
People can sign up as an individual or part of a team. To register visit: southhuron.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/event/move-for-mentoring. Register by Apr. 24 to receive a branded BBBSSH bandana to wear while moving, sponsored by Canadian Tire. Participants will also have a chance to win a daily draw prize, sponsored by Tim Horton’s, from May 1st-15th on Facebook: Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron.
Participants are asked to collect pledges using their online fundraising page. Paper pledge forms are also available. Donations will be accepted until May 31st.
For more information, or to register, please contact the BBBSSH office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519 235-1780, or visit their web-site at southhuron.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca, or reach out on Facebook.